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 Post subject: Double standards?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:51 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:20 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Lincolnshire
Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:48 pm Post subject: Double standards?

I had originally posted this in the Lincs forum, but decided to open it to a wider audience.

We attended the open evening of one of our local comprehensive schools last night. During the Headmasters address, we were left in no doubt whatsoever as to his personal opinion of selective education. I have absolutely no problem at all with this as everyone has a right to their own opinion and I see no reason why (if we choose to send our son to this school) it would have any bearing on his education.

However, I was rather taken aback when he went on to explain how they had achieved a truely comprehensive school. This is something that they as a school were very proud of. He showed us a model of a true comprehensive with a smooth curve showing equal percentages of gifted and lower ability students rounding up to a peak of average ability students. He then showed us the effect that Grammar school have on this curve by creaming off the higher ability children and leaving a glut of children placed in the middle to lover end of the model. (Stay with me here! ) They as a school had managed to achieve a perfect curve for the past 2 years, however. At this time I was a parent govener for my childrens primary school and recalled how the comp in question had written to all primary schools requesting they supply them with projected sats levels of all year 6 students who have applied for a place! (Our school had refused)

It therefore becomes clear, that the comp use the sats, to decide how many children working at each level they will need to take in to maintain their perfect curve!

The Head had been so very proud that there was a place for children of any ability, I say this may be so unless you happen to be a child of just below average ability for instance, and it just so happens that the quota of children in this catagory has already been filled.

Can anyone shed any light on how this is not selective. I realise I am not an education expert but as a parent this left a rather bitter tast in my mouth

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 5:37 am 
I thought the allocation was done centrally and according to agreed over-subscription criteria. How on earth does he manage to get round the system like that?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:42 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:11 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Bournemouth
Very interesting post (having recently attended 4 open evenings at schools). I've listened to a variety of talks from headteachers, but nothing in the realm of the charts you have seen have been produced. The only detailed analysis I saw was from a good comprehensive (outside Bmth!) which was on GCSE results of students. Is this comprehensive a sought-after well performing school? What percentage A-C's does it have?

From my Bournemouth experience, having read the admissions procedure book from cover to cover, and asking the education authority questions, there is no way a comprehensive or secondary school can select on ability. They select by geographical criteria only - siblings within catchment first, catchment, outside catchment. Where there are too many applicants the distance criteria comes into play. It is interesting that you had inside information on the comp asking for projected sats results. I cannot see how the school can deviate from their published admissions criteria. And the previous respondent is correct - admissions are done centrally now, so the education authority oversee the process.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:18 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2006 4:28 pm
Posts: 10
In Dorset it might be the case that comprehensives can not select on ability, but in Herts it's certainly not the case. Clement Dane clearly stated that 10% will be selected on ability and out of catchment children will get places. This is similar to Rickmansworth School both of which are 'comprehensives'.

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